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Local News

October 7, 2010

Murphy focuses on economic development at Daily Star meeting

ONEONTA _ Rep. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, said he has visited all 137 towns and villages in the 20th Congressional district, and economic development is always the topic people want to discuss.

Murphy met with The Daily Star editorial board in Oneonta on Tuesday to discuss his campaign and his opponent, Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, a retired Army colonel.

On Monday, a new Public Opinion Strategies poll indicated that Gibson trails Murphy by only four points -- 38 percent for Gibson to 42 percent for Murphy. The poll had 400 likely voters and a 4.9 percent margin of error. The poll reflects a closing of the gap in the race since a Siena Research Institute Poll came out earlier in the month with Murphy up 17 points.

"I am glad to be ahead in the polls, but it's all about what happens at the end of the day on Nov. 2," Murphy said.

Murphy said his campaign is centered on doing the things that are going to help small businesses, extending tax cuts for middle class families with incomes under $250,000, improving infrastructure so businesses can start and grow, increasing education funding and ending the federal tax burden on businesses.

On the issue of drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale, Murphy said he believes clean energy sources need to be promoted so the U.S. can move toward energy independence, but added, "It makes no sense to drill for natural gas if we are going to pollute the water supply."

Murphy said he has consulted U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu about the future of drilling for natural gas and was told that the technology could be developed so it can be done safely.

Murphy said he believes the state Department of Environmental Protection will make sure that the permitting process will ensure rules are followed and that there will be a plan in place if a drilling disaster occurs.

He said the U.S., and New York in particular, should be using all domestic energy resources, including nuclear power, natural gas, wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower.

On another subject, the National Rifle Association endorsed Murphy over Gibson, which Murphy said was because of his belief in the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

"Gun ownership is a rural versus urban issue," Murphy said. "In upstate New York, everyone owns long guns and hunts. It's not the same as handguns in the city.

Murphy said his aim is to bolster economic activity in upstate New York because he understands starting and building small businesses.

Patricia Breakey can be reached at 865-5175 or at

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